My Take on Music Recording with Doug Fearn

Manufacturing Pro Audio Equipment

February 27, 2021 Doug Fearn Season 1 Episode 39
My Take on Music Recording with Doug Fearn
Manufacturing Pro Audio Equipment
Show Notes

Manufacturing pro audio equipment was never really part of my plan, but it has become one of the most gratifying aspects of my career in music recording.

It wasn’t until around 2011 when a documentary video about me was made that I realized how all the pieces came together, resulting in my career in recording, and in designing products for the studio. In retrospect, it seems totally logical.

In this episode, I talk about some of those influences, including my early experience as a teenage business owner. I explain how my desire to improve the quality of my recordings led me to the design of the VT-1, the single-channel vacuum tube mic preamp that became the first D.W. Fearn product.

I talk about how I made the transition from the pre-internet days of mailing lists and magazine ads to my first company web site. I had to learn the details of manufacturing, shipping internationally, and setting up dealers to sell my products.

And, of course there were the details of design, beyond the circuit and into the esthetics of gear and user ergonomics.

I hope you will enjoy hearing about my journey. And if you are thinking about starting a company, perhaps my story will be helpful to you.

Your email is valuable to me, so keep it coming.

And as I approach a full year of doing this podcast, I want to ask your help in building the audience. Frankly, I’m happy to do this even if only a few people benefit from it. But producing this podcast takes up about half my working hours, so for me to feel motivated to keep going, I’d like to find more subscribers. If you would share your enthusiasm for this podcast with your social media contacts, or your real-world colleagues, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Technical details for this episode: I wanted to get a  better understanding of the RF condenser microphone sound, so I used a newly-acquired Sennheiser MKH8050 Hypercardiod mic. That went into a D.W. Fearn VT-2 mic preamp, VT-4 Equalizer, and VT-7 Compressor. The mic is about 24 inches away, and off axis, since it is easily popped. No pop filter was used. The eq was set for 4dB of shelving roll-off at 40Hz, and 2dB of shelving high-cut at 10kHz. I found that I needed the high cut to reduce the high-end boost inherent in condenser microphones. The low cut compensates for the proximity effect of most directional miscs. The audio went through a Merging Technologies Hapi converter and was recorded using Pyramix DAW at 24-bit, 96kHz sample rate. Of course, the podcast format is a 96kb/s MP3, but the higher resolution capture results in a better translation to the MP3 format.